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कश्चित्कान्ताविरहगुरुणा स्वाधिकारप्रमत्तः
शापेनास्तंगमितमहिमा वर्षर्भोग्येण भर्तुः ।
यक्षश्चक्रे जनकतनयास्नानपुण्योदकेषु
स्निग्धच्छायातरुषु वसतिं रामगिर्याश्रमेषु ॥ १ ॥

A certain Yakṣa was cursed by his master for being neglectful of his duty,
And deprived of his great power, became depressed,
Separated from his wife for a year:
He made home in the hermitage of Rāmagiri mountain,
Where the water had been sanctified by the bathing of Janaka’s daughter Sītā
And where the trees give lovely shade. (1)

一年の間 大いなる力を削がれ、妻から引き離される苦しみを与えられ

Meghadūta, “The Cloud Messenger” is a Sanskrit poem composed by the famous poet saint Kālidāsa. A lonely Yakṣa in exile, separated from his wife, decides to ask a cloud to carry his message to her. The major part of the poem is a description of the cloud’s journey.


This website introduces the plants mentioned in the poem. Each page has an illustration of the flower, botanic description, verses that contain the flower and their translation, and a recording of the chanting of the verse. I did not include lotuses in the lists, since they occur numerously and it also seems fairly clear to the readers. There may also be few plants that I have missed out.

The translations, both in English and Japanese, are done by Tomomi Sato, and they are liberal translations: tense and sentence structure are often changed, especially in the case of English, for better flow of the language.


Meghadūta, transmitted orally for centuries, vary to some extent in word choice and verse sequence in different versions. I have followed the version as it appears in Hideo Kimura’s Kālidāsa Literature Series No.1: jojōshi kisetsushū kumo no shisha.(1962, Kyoto: Hyakka-en)

メーガドゥータは元々、口承伝統で伝えられてきたものですので、大体において重なりながらも、地域や学者により語の選択や詩節の順序などには諸説あります。 番号や異説のある語などについては、木村秀雄著「カーリダーサ文学集 季節集・雲の使者」(昭和40年 百華苑発行)に倣い、また植物の特定にも非常に参考にさせていただきました。

Sincere thanks to Isabella for her extensive help with the English translations.

(c) Tomomi Sato 2013

3 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. Hi Tomomi, this is truly wonderful work! May I ask a question about the source of the pictures – did you paint them yourself, or were they taken from some other book? Thanks!

      • How wonderful! It is not easy to find pictures of flora in Sanskrit literature. You work is quenching my thirst. Thanks, and kudos to you!

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